Star Wars

Mock Spaghetti Western Trailer for ‘The Mandalorian’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 16/01/2020 - 4:17am in

The Mandalorian is an American SF series. It’s a spin-off from Star Wars about a bounty hunter from Boba Fett’s people, who roams the Galaxy rounding up fugitives from justice. As far as I can make out, his companions include a war droid and an infant clone of Yoda.

I found this highly entertaining video on Kingkida’s channel on YouTube. This is mock cinema trailer for the show in the style of those for Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns starring Clint Eastwood, For a Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It’s a really well put together spoof. It has the grainy quality of the film used in them days for low budget movies, the text is in Italian with English subtitles, as in the spaghetti westerns, and it uses the iconic music. Oh yes, and it also nods to the third film in Leone’s trilogy with the captions ‘The Good’, ‘the Bad’, and ‘the Ughnaut’ – one of the aliens from the Star Wars universe.

“Doctor Who”, “Star Trek”, Arrowverse, “The Mandalorian” & More: The Bleeding Cool Top 30 TV Series Influencers 2020 (#5-#1)

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 01/01/2020 - 6:15am in

Welcome to The Bleeding Cool Top 30 TV Series Influencers 2020, a look inside our “crystal ball” as we predict the broadcast, cable, and streaming shows that can and will have a major influence on your viewing habits as we steamroll into 2020 – and beyond.

So for those of you who were with us last year, you’ll notice that we made some changes this year – so here’s what you need to know:


● With the growing number of streaming services on the horizon and the tidal wave of content across all platforms continuing to grow, we’re shifting our focus exclusively to new and returning series/limited series.

● Our 30 selections were based on a year’s worth of Bleeding Cool television coverage, third-party coverage, analytics, trends, and raw gut instinct. Our inital list began with nearly 100 new and returning series/limited series, which was nearly halved to 50 before being shaved down to the 30 we’re about to present.

Just to be clear… being a “series influencer” does not necessarily mean that you are the best show or that you are necessarily better than series that didn’t make the cut. Along with judging the quality of what we know about a show so far (director, cast, platform, etc.), we’re also taking into consideration the impact a show’s success (or failure) can have on the proverbial “bigger picture”.

So the calendar tells us that it’s almost 2020, which means we’ve come to the end of the list – our final five (make sure to catch up on our countdown here, here, here, here, and here)…

#5 – “The Mandalorian” Season 2 (Disney+)

“The Mouse” couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick of its new streaming service: with their very first live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian proving itself a righteously huge hit. For Disney+, that buys them some streaming street cred and a moment to take a breath as they prepare for a Star Wars future that includes an untitled spinoff series focused on Cassian Andor from Rogue One, Star Wars: The Clone Wars season 7, and an untitled series that finds Ewan McGregor returning to his prequel trilogy role as Obi-Wan Kenobi.

For Jon Favreau‘s series, it’s about disproving the “sophomore slump” theory and showing that the series has legit staying power – and that it’s not just “The Show That Baby Yoda Built”. Favreau has already scored post-season bonus points by announcing a Fall 2020 release for season 2 – where it will find itself not only helping to shepard in the next wave of Star Wars programming, but also “Phase 4” of a certain on-screen comics universe we might be addressing later…

#4 – “Doctor Who” Series 12 (BBC)

This is a weird one because what Doctor Who needs to do isn’t something it should have to do.

So it shouldn’t.

Let me explain.

There’s this misconception out there that Series 11 was a “disaster” and that 13th Doctor Jodie Whittaker and EP Chris Chiball we’re being “canned”. Now it would be funny if it wasn’t clearly wrapped up in layers of misogynistic bulls**t – you know, the “Not MY Doctor!” crowd because the Doctor is now female – because none of that was true.

A basic internet search would clarify any ratings confusion, and the fact that Whittaker and Chibnall are back really proves they’re not going anywhere. So my instinct was to advise that they hit the haters with the facts until there’s no room for them to pout – but what’s the point? Their argument comes from a shi**y place and not one of legit facts, so no response will ever change their minds.

Nope, what they should do is exactly what they’re already doing: embrace the diversity and complexity of Doctor Who, truly making it a “Space. For All.” Could they use a few less companions, an overarching season-long mythology storyline, and a few more familiar faces? Sure – but those are minor tweaks that I’m throwing out there because Whittaker’s Doctor is one I want to see more ingrained in her past as much as possible – without sacrificing the desire to go bold and new.

No matter what, I’d like to see Whittaker have a “Tom Baker+2″ run…

#3 – CBS All Access “Star Trek” Universe

Say what you want to about CBS All Access… they did promising that they would be doing some “interesting” things with the Star Trek franchise. I’d say catapaulting the Discovery 900 years into a future previously unchartered in Trek lore fits that description. Short-form anthology series Short Treks (especially its recent animated outings) could also be added to that list, as would upcoming animated workplace comedy Lower Decks. In fact, the “safest” upcoming Trek project is Picard – and they’re not even putting him back in the command chair (…yet?).

But with CBS All Access now under ViacomCBS, will the creative experimenting be able to continue as the need to keep and grow eyeballs becomes more fierce – especially with new streaming services on the horizon? As popular as Discovery has proven to be, will forging new Starfleet history prove to be too much for diehards to bear – or the key to revitalizing a franchise looking to reboot its cinematic side? ViacomCBS sees Star Trek (along with Mission: Impossible) as a franchise they want playing a much bigger part in the streamer’s future – so eyeballs within the company will be watching, too.

#2 – The CW’s Arrowverse

The CW‘s “Arrowverse” will be waking from its long winter’s nap to the beginning of some major changes – changes beginning on screen with the two-part finale of mega-crossover event “Crisis on Infinite Earths”. Unless you’ve been living on another planet far, far away, you know that Stephen Amell’s Arrow is leaving the air after eight seasons – looking to “pass the bow-n-arrow” series-wise to Katherine McNamara’s Mia in Green Arrow and the Canaries.

The Flash is about to become the “elder states-show” of the Arrowverse – but how much longer will that series have as it nears its own eighth season. Ruby Rose-starrer Batwoman finds Kate Kane continuing to solidify her role in the changing universe, as well as developing a “World’s Finest” relationship with Supergirl and expanding the Batman mythos.

Meanwhile, it appears Black Lightning will be a permanent part of the main action, while DC’s Legends of Tomorrow continues doing what the “Legends” do – just without Brandon Routh and Courtney Ford, who are set to leave the series during the upcoming fifth season.

Then there’s the upcoming Superman & Lois pilot – and we didn’t even touch upon DC Universe‘s Stargirl, which will also find its way onto The CW after it airs on the streamer.

So where does that leave us? We don’t know – and the fact that The CW isn’t sure either is the reason this ranks so high on our list. The network’s DCU is going through some major changes at a time when competition is growing – and some of that competition will be coming from within. “Crisis” has earned The CW’s Arrowverse some of the best mainstream coverage it’s gotten in a long time – if ever – so maintaining that is key. Also, the look and cast of Stargirl makes it look like a summer action movie blockbuster compared to the other CW DC programming – that could be a problem if they’re moving ahead without a “multiverse” when the dust settles from “Crisis”.

Of course, the Anti-Monitor could always win, I guess…

doctor whoDisney+
#1 – “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier” (Disney+)

If you’re Disney+, you’re hoping that Kevin Feige and Marvel (especially with the “Loeb-otomy” going on) are looking at the success of The Mandalorian on the Star Wars side and are having a “hold our beer” moment. Right now, “The Mouse’s” streamer has eight MCU series lined up: WandaVision, Loki, animated Marvel’s What If…?, Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, and She-Hulk – and it all kicks off in 202o with The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

Which means Disney+ needs Anthony Mackie‘s Sam Wilson aka Falcon and Sebastian Stan‘s Bucky Barnes aka Winter Solider to “save the day” the same way Pedro Pascal‘s Din Djarin did.

Translation? Bring in lots of eyeballs.

At a time when the the MCU is moving into a post-Avengers: Endgame “Phase 4”, a lot is riding on the streaming side of things to be a boost for the film side. So aside from having seven series riding your coat tails, you also have the cinematic side to keep in mind. That’s a lot of pressure..

Granted, “The Mouse” has turned this entire process into a process they appeared to have mastered – but things aren’t quite as “guaranteed” on the streaming side as they are over on film. Even with Disney’s backing, more services means more content – and as we’ve discussed before, audiences have gotten “spoiled” by comic book series such as The Boys and Watchmen. Quality is key. Viewers will not waste time moving their eyeballs onto something else – no matter how “tried-n-true” that franchise might be.

The post “Doctor Who”, “Star Trek”, Arrowverse, “The Mandalorian” & More: The Bleeding Cool Top 30 TV Series Influencers 2020 (#5-#1) appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

“Galaxy Quest”: Re-Examining Fan Culture 20 Years Later [OPINION]

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 27/12/2019 - 11:45am in

When Galaxy Quest came out in 1999, it offered an original story from the rare perspective of fandom. The film combines elements of Star Trek and comedy into its original hybrid science fiction story. It follows the cast of a fictional TV-show in the 1970s doing another convention to stay relevant. The cast find themselves in real danger tasked to protect an alien species, the Thermians against an imminent threat. They modeled their entire society after their TV series .

Galaxy QuestDreamWorks Pictures/Amblin Entertainment

Despite the show being off the air for some time, the actors attempt, but fail miserably to step back into the roles trying to save the Thermians from destruction. The film starred Tim Allen as Jason Nesmith, the lead “actor” on Galaxy Quest modeled after William Shatner. As Jason, he came to appreciate what the series did for his career fulling embracing the attention he gets.

The late Alan Rickman played Alexander Dane as the resident alien character on the series. As a classically-trained Shakespearean actor, he can’t hide his shame from the role. Dane was likely modeled after Patrick Stewart and the late Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy released two autobiographies, “I Am Not Spock” in 1975 followed up by “I Am Spock” 20 years later surrounding his life and his role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek.

The contrast between Jason and Alexander represents two polar opposites in the film. The first embraces and takes ownership of the franchise he’s known for and the second, a person who wants to define his career beyond his signature role. Shatner, while still embracing the Trek fan base infamously poked fun at himself and fans during a Saturday Night Live sketch. During the convention sketch, he mocks fans to “Get a Life.” Gratuitously insulting the attendees for their lack of social skills and not being able to “grow” out of their passion for the franchise.

There are many actors who relate to Alexander, because many in his profession prefer to be known for their whole body of work, but end up just associated with one role and in many instances, typecast within the industry. Many Trek actors were astonished how well Galaxy Quest captured the con experience.

How Fandom Changed Since

When it comes to how fandom evolved, how much have things changed?

The introduction of social media provides a direct way for celebrities and their fans to interact. Obviously, the celebrities can’t answer every single fan inquiry, but it provides an extra layer and access never thought imagined. Aside from their additional online presence, the quality of interactions likely remained the same as fans received limited access to the subject due to demand and fixed scheduled time.

Social media also allowed real-time interactive communication between fans. Many become content generators expressing opinions on all things pop culture. Some like here at Bleeding Cool even became profitable. While there are numerous robust discussions from reviews, news items or op-eds on a subject, many of them end up counterproductive in the comments. It’s funny how a medium like comics provides so much diverse possibilities, but when attention turns to a more mainstream medium like television or film, standards become far more rigid.

Criticism vs. Entitlement Culture

Fans have more power and access than ever before, but unfortunately, too many abuse that power. Some turn their disagreements to crusades. Until you control the IP, the owners aren’t obligated to meet your demands. You can hate Star Wars and Star Trek all you want, but nothing you do can change the minds of CBS, Paramount or Lucasfilm. Want to show them how to do it right? Create your own IP and be successful. Or express yourself and make peace with it. Pick and choose your battles.

There are different flavors of fans of every franchise and for the most part, it remains largely civil. You’re not going to find The Original Series fans shame The Next Generation fans in the Star Trek paradigm. Some fans think Deep Space Nine is the best and all I would do is ask why. Same thing goes for generations of Star Wars films. People grew up with their own trilogy and likely have a difference of opinion on how the different eras stack up.

We’re All One Community

That’s the one thing you don’t see in Galaxy Quest: how fans dealt with discourse. As nerds, geeks, and fans alike, we have the luxury to explore all these different facets of the universe from TV, film, games, and paraphernalia. If anything we are dreamers and explorers. The franchises we love and adore are just extensions of ourselves. These are characters we relate to, who resonate with us. If you started watching Doctor Who with Jodie Whitaker, it certainly doesn’t make you less a fan than when William Hartnell or Matt Smith took on the role.

If there are things to take away fan culture from 1999 compared to 2019, we have greater access and influence than ever before. As nerds and geeks, we’re no longer just live on the fringes of society. We become more the mainstream. The world is catching up with the times and changing and so should we. The world of Galaxy Quest showed a simpler time of benevolence within fan culture. Generations still adore the film today.

The post “Galaxy Quest”: Re-Examining Fan Culture 20 Years Later [OPINION] appeared first on Bleeding Cool News And Rumors.

Modeller’s Magazine on Building Kits of Real Spacecraft

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 21/12/2019 - 9:59pm in

Like many children in the ’70s I was into plastic model kits. I was particularly into air- and spacecraft, and so spent some of my free time and pocket money gluing together and painting kits of the Apollo Lunar Module and the mighty Saturn V rocket that took men to the Moon, the Space Shuttle, and a spaceship from the Science Fiction film and TV series, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century. I was therefore pleased to find looking through W.H. Smith’s magazine shelves that not only had the hobby not died out, but that manufacturers were producing models of contemporary spacecraft. You can find plastic model kits on sale at some hobby shops and in Waterstone’s, but these tend to be of military aircraft, usually, but not exclusively from the Second World War II, tanks, and high performance modern jet fighters. Spacecraft seem to be dominated by Star Wars. So it was a real surprise when I found Scale Modelling: Real Space.

The kits built and described are those of the International Space Station; the Retriever Rocket, designed in the 1950s by Werner von Braun as part of the original concept for the Moon Landings which was then abandoned; the early Redstone rocket which launched some of the first Mercury capsules; the American Skylab space station; the Chinese ‘Celestial Palace’ space station, formed from their Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1 spacecraft; the French Ariane 5 rocket; the Russian Buran orbiter, their answer to the American Space Shuttle, which has been built but never flown; the Titan IIIC launcher; NASA’s Space Launch System heavy lifting rocket.

Interspersed with these are articles on some of the real spacecraft themselves, written by NASA scientist David Baker. These are on the history of the ISS, how the final Saturn V launch for Skylab was very nearly a disaster, and the station became a success, and the Space Launch System rocket and its Orion capsule.

The very last model kit of a real spacecraft I built was of the Jupiter C way back in the 1990s. This was one of the early rockets that launched one of America’s first satellites into orbit. I’m very glad that people are still enjoying the hobby and building models of the real spacecraft which are carrying men and women into orbit. I was very pleased indeed when James May in one of his programmes on boy’s hobbies of the past, tried to revive interest in plastic model kits for a new generation of boys and girls a few years ago. As part of it, he built a full-scale replica of a Spitfire as a plastic model kit, complete with a dummy pilot, whose face was his own. It was cast by the artist Esther Freud, using the same techniques used to create creature masks for SF/Fantasy/Horror movies.

This issue of the magazine celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Moon landings with these kits. As NASA, ESA, India, and China again discuss plans for a return to Earth’s airless companion world, I hope the magazine and the kits encourage and inspire more children to become interested in space and the great vehicles that take us there. 



The 12 Blogs of Christmas: Seven. An Hour Including Star Wars.

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 20/12/2019 - 5:42am in

Thanks to everyone who’s donated to my Just Giving page already. If you enjoy these blog posts, please give generously on that page to Autistica, a charity with autistic people at its heart which researches into offering them a better way of life. It’s my chosen charity this year because my son Tom is autistic, and I appreciate the many advances that are helping him navigate the world.

I only have an hour to write this post, because of all the stuff I had to get done today (including seeing Star Wars, which, okay, I didn’t have to get done), and because I’m off to a meeting of the Fairford Festival committee tonight, and I have tidings of great joy for them about a guest we’ve secured for the Fairford Festival of Fiction but haven’t announced yet.  (We’ve already sold a third of the tickets on the basis of Russell T. Davies being a guest.)

So, in this hour, what did I make of Star Wars?  Well, there will be NO SPOILERS, because I’d like some readers for this post done at haste and not many people will have got to cash in the Freelancer Bonus of going to the first daytime showing of a movie when there’s hardly anyone about, so…  I thought it did an incredibly difficult job, that is reconciling and tying up the enormous self-contradictory mass that is Star Wars continuity and theming, incredibly well.  Abrams and his collaborators didn’t shy away from what they needed to fix, they engaged with each point, and managed to put some pleasing spin, with jokes and passion and tapping into nostalgia and archetype, on some of the quite huge turns of the spanner they had to make.

I did previously regard the whole of Star Wars as a bit of a lump of too much stuff, that waved goodbye to satisfying shape toward the middle of The Empire Strikes Back.  But this movie goes some way toward making the saga an actual saga.  Entirely enough of the way, I think.  It wouldn’t be Star Wars without some flapping left over bits.  I cried at several moments.  I found the character pay-offs mostly very satisfying.  Endings are difficult.  This was a good ending.

It’s probably not too much of a spoiler to say that my favourite thing in Star Wars, the Imperial Navy, is back again this time, and once more they are very British, wonderfully British, and that they do not come out of this one entirely unscathed.  With this and Game of Thrones ending, an entire stratum of career opportunities for Very British Actors has vanished.  The remaining officers will either take early retirement and finally be able to wear their carpet slippers without mockery, and get to have a nice cup of tea and a biccy without ridiculous space wizards continually leading them to destruction, or, if they wish to stay in whatever the navy’s going to be like now, they’ll probably have to participate in some sort of re-training seminar about taking Americans seriously.  ‘It wasn’t just the fact that he was a ridiculous space wizard,’ one of them will say to another, when tea is served (oh no, there will still be tea, won’t there?), ‘it was the accent.  I found turning on him and gunning down he and all his ilk to be entirely justified, because they were all a bit much.  Really.  And what happens after we do that?  We only go and end up serving a different sort of them all over again.  All in all, I am really quite looking forward to getting back to tending my petunias.’

Anyway, Caroline and I got to go and do our festive early-hours movie-going, so that was a nice ritual fulfilled.  Thanks very much to the Verity Podcast for mentioning these 12 Blogs in their latest episode.  And I’m delighted that the charity this is all in aid of, Autistica, have chosen to feature the 12 Blogs in their latest post about their Christmas campaign.

Tom had another Good Day at school, but it must be said they’re not pushing him very hard this week.  We’ve reached a bit of an awkward point because the school, who’ve been excellent, are suggesting taking him out of certain lessons next term to work instead on his learning difficulties.  We’re not keen, because we think he might at any moment engage with something in those lessons, and we want to broaden his world, but I do also wonder if this is an emotional reaction on my part.  We’ve tried to keep him in the mainstream, but there surely must come a moment where his differences will separate him, and I wonder if I’m just fretting because now we’re there and I’m having a hard time accepting it.  We have a meeting about it in the New Year.

All I’ve done work-wise today is a bit of pottering around on what might be a novel plot for, maybe a children’s novel?  And I’ve reacted with applause to art coming in from Christopher Jones on our Star Trek comic.  Tomorrow I have a deadline, which I’m sure I’ll make, to finish the script for the first issue of a creator-owned comics series I have coming out next year.  And the artist on that is so good, I can’t wait for you to see the work.  But tomorrow also is another one of these blogs, and the newsletter, and Tom finishes early and we’re taking him to see the light show at the Arboretum, which he loved last year.

It’s Caroline’s busiest time of the year, but for some reason I’ve also chosen to make it mine.  I hope the small size of this one is okay with you all.  I do appreciate you being there, for this and for the whole career really.  Please don’t let the sparseness stop you from donating to the charity.  Tom’s future is anything but secure.  He, and all those like him, need all the help they can get.

Newsletter Sign-Up

If you’d like to hear about all of my doings before this blog comes out, then you need my Friday Newsletter, which has all the news and its own exclusives. You can sign up here.


Please join me again tomorrow for… something longer, possibly about all the movies Hammer House of Podcast has covered this year, especially given that also tomorrow is… our Daleks Invasion Earth 2150AD commentary episode!  For everyone!  Hooray!

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The Mandatory Fun

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 17/12/2019 - 7:22am in

Hey, have you heard of that new Star Wars show where a bounty hunter and a baby hang out and go on adventures? Me neither.

Deadlines for Xmas gift ordering from my store are rapidly approaching and show no signs of slowing down. Go buy some presents for your friends, if you have any.

Texas Man Invents Machine that Creates Drinking Water from Air

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 26/11/2019 - 2:17am in

This is pure Dune technology. This short video of just over 2 minutes long from RepsUp 100 channel on YouTube is a news report about a former ranger, Moses West, from Texas, who has invented a device that creates drinking water from the air. He invented his Atmospheric Water Generator back in 2015. West says of his machine that they’re at the point where they can talk about creating 50,000 – 1,000,000 gallons of water. The energy consumption is incredibly low. According to West, it’s far cheaper than groundwater and desalination. He has so far made eight of these machines. They’re in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico and Flint, Michigan.

According to West, the machines are federally approved and the water quality is tested by the Colorado Water Authority. Most of West’s devices were manufactured in Manitowoc, Wisconsin. The news broadcast says that the townspeople should be proud, as one unit provides the town with hundreds of gallons of clean water. It also appears that it doesn’t cost the residents anything, as West works with organisations like the Water Rescue Foundation to cover costs. He also says that people were very happy that somebody actually cared enough to jump over the bureaucracy and do this on a private piece of land. His concern now is to plant these in Flint, Michigan, to help the people there.

I don’t think West’s idea is particularly new. It seems to be a variant on the domestic dehumidifiers that are used to clean the moisture out of people’s homes. Some of these, like the one in the video below from Unbox Therapy on YouTube, manufactured by Ecoloblue, create drinking water from the moisture collected. West seems to have just created a larger, industrial scale version.

It’s a great device, and West is right when he says that there’s a water crisis coming. Back in the 1990s the Financial Times ran an article about how climate change and increasing demands for water are creating conflict. It predicted that in the 21st Century, most wars would be over water. When I was studying for my archaeology Ph.D., I also went to a seminar by a visiting professor, who had researched the effect climate change had through the human past on civilisation. He too was concerned about a coming water shortage. Machines like this could help solve some of those problems.

However, the use of these machines also demonstrates glaring iniquities in the American water supply system. Flint, Michigan, became notorious a few years ago because the local council had allowed companies to pollute the town’s drinking water to truly disgusting levels. People in a superpower like America, the world’s richest country, should not have to rely on charities for their drinking water.

It is, however, very much like something from Science Fiction. I’m reminded of the technology in books and films like Dune and Star Wars to bring water to the desert planets there. Like the system of underground cisterns and windcatchers in Dune to irrigate Arakis, and the moisture vaporators on Tattooine.

Now if only someone would invent something else from Dune – the stillsuit. A suit that collects water from the wearer’s own sweat and urine, and purifies it, turning it into drinking water so that they can survive weeks, even in the deepest desert. And in the 1980s David Lynch film, looked really cool too.

Here’s a brief video from Dune Codex on YouTube explaining how these fictional suits work.